Gaithersburg fire: Neighbors raise money to bury Lancelot Quarshie

GAITHERSBURG, Md. (WJLA) - When there is adversity and tragedy, people in this Montgomery Village neighborhood say they rally to give to those in need.

A deadly, devastating fire that took place last Wednesday has touched and broken the hearts of neighbors. In total, 12 units were destroyed, 40 families are homeless, and the fire claimed the life of a four-year-old boy at Cider Mill Apartments.

Now, neighbors are doing whatever they can to help.

Several charities and local radio stations came together on Monday, gathering outside the neighborhood Safeway to ask residents to donate what they can – food, clothing, money – anything to help those who lost everything in the two-alarm fire.

"If I could give more, I would," said Kristin Markopoulo.

Tia Rice of Germantown dropped off a box full of clothing.

"Men's, women's, kid's just took a second to run through the closets," she said.

No one lost more than the family of 4-year-old Lancelot Quarshie. The young boy died as fire raced through his apartment. His father was able to save his 2-year-old sister, but was not able to fight through the flames in order to get back in time to save his son.

"This is our community, we respond immediately and we bring everybody together...the faith community, other non- profits, and of course the citizens of Montgomery Village," said Victims' Rights Foundation President Gregory Wims.

“Women that Care” ministries is also now working with the family.

"They are preparing to bury the little boy on Saturday and they don't have the funds, so we are hoping in all of our collections today, we are hoping people will come forward to help bury this little boy," said Executive Director Judith Clark. "We're also asking for Safeway gift cards. We're also asking for Visa gift cards so that the family can go to Target or Wal-mart and get these needs restored."

According to Clark, the family who lost their son is grateful for the community outreach.

Donations will continue to be collected through Women Who Care Ministries and through the Victims' Rights Foundation.